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Alex Malley - branding

What kind of things would members actually want CPA Australia to focus on vs what are they actually doing
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Alex Malley - branding

Post by Magnet » Fri Aug 11, 2017 11:59 am

With all that has already occurred over the past few weeks, this is a very minor gripe that I have.

As Alex Malley has been sacked, can we force him to update his online media presence to no longer to refer to himself as CEO and promote all the supposed CPA material that has been produced.

As seen on his twitter and linkedin, he is still listed as CEO.

On his twitter, the giant image is of The Naked CEO book. If we are to believe what we've been told this book, although 'written' by Alex, is the property of CPA.

He also refers to himself as the host of channel 9 show In Conversation. Again this show is supposed to be owned by CPA, not Alex.

As I said, I realise this is a very minor issue, however it makes me angry looking at these sites and seeing his smug face still promoting this so called CPA material.

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Re: Alex Malley - branding

Post by Heisenberg » Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:08 pm

It annoys me too....

He's just rubbing salt into the wound.

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Re: Alex Malley - branding

Post by Magnet » Mon Aug 14, 2017 4:07 pm

Heisenberg wrote:
Fri Aug 11, 2017 7:08 pm
It annoys me too....
good, its not just me then!! :)

Im sure management at CPA will have it all sorted in no time at all! :roll:

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Re: Alex Malley - branding

Post by Magnet » Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:52 am

His social media accounts have now all been updated.

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Re: Alex Malley - branding

Post by JWheldon » Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:03 pm

Here is an article from Time Burrows written in June 2017, which reinforces the tragic mistake of the CPA Australia board, believing that one individual could be a face of an organisation, and no relevant message. Even today, Alex Malley has put on his twitter account the following;

"Alex Malley is a start up investor, best selling author and television host. His success as a CEO created much interest."

sounds like the marketing person giving him advise is still doing a very bad job.

It is interesting that he describes himself as a startup investor, author, television host and a successful CEO and not as an accountant. Maybe Alex didn't really like accounting ? He must be using marketing talk to describe himself as a success, given all the problems that he left behind at CPA Australia.

He still can not see what he did wrong and blames the AFR and everyone else. He sure did a marketing job on the CPA Australia board, and was able to leave CPA Australia with $4.9 million and also able to leave a trial of mess behind. There is certainly much wrong, and certainly much which has not been disclosed. There is a need to seek answers and a need for the CPA Australia board to disclose the contract that they entered into with Alex Malley. This contract may provide the answer as to why the payout was so high, and the legal costs associated with CPA Australia acquiring the intellectual rights to Alex's image, name etc, and the cost to terminating that right. It probably took so long to get rid of Alex, because the contract entered into by CPA Australia, was so one sided or in Alex's best interest. Many questions, but very few answers.

Maybe Alex Malley is similar to the Clayton's commercial (The drink you have when you're not having a drink), expect in the CPA Australia situation, its the CEO you have, when you're not got a CEO. Where is Will Anderson from the Gruen Transfer when you need so great wit. ... led-453766

June 24, 2017 7:21
by Tim Burrowes

A decade ago I had to ask Richard Branson a delicate question.

What would happen to the Virgin brand if he died?

At the time, I was presenting a show about the media on a radio station, and Branson was in town to spruik a new Virgin Airlines route.

I couched the question as gently as I could. Given his record of risk-taking publicity stunts – including being rescued from the Atlantic from a ditched hot air balloon – was there, erm, a contingency plan for the brand he personifies?

“If I snuff it, I guess they’ll have to spend more on marketing,” was his cheerful reply.

Which is probably true. It’s certainly the case that Branson has for many years been a publicity machine for Virgin which has delivered media coverage for Virgin ventures that could never be bought.

Branson in a tank. Branson breaking a world record. Branson in a dress. Branson jumping out of a cake. Branson kitesurfing.

So it’s fair to say that there’s nothing inherently wrong with a CEO being the face of a brand.

But as PwC’s Megan Brownlow pointed out in her keynote presentation at Mumbrella360 this month, the tenure of a typical CEO is just a few years. Which means, as the CPA has learned, that if you make them the face of your brand, a lot of brand equity can walk out of the door at any time.

And it may explain why the most successful CEOs-as-face-of-the-brand all tend to be founders.

Branson is the best example, but that’s also why Aussie John Symond or Ruslan Kogan (or to a lesser extend Shark Tank investor and Boost Juice proprietor Janine Allis) have resonated with the public.

But with hindsight, Alex Malley was not.

Good marketing is an investment that builds the brand for the future. It’s an investment that carries on paying out long after the current media schedule is off the air.

In CPA’s case, the departure of Malley means that there will be no further value to be squeezed from the dollars previously invested.

Much as he might want to be, Alex Malley is not Richard Branson. He is not an entrepreneur. He was never the aspirational role model for young accountants he seemed to think he was. He was running a membership organisation for accountants.

And the $1.8m pay packet they might aspire to was kept secret from them at the time.

The only future beneficiary of this CPA investment in the Malley brand will be Malley himself – assuming his reputation recovers from the governance questions that have swirled around the body, and eventually led to his abrupt Friday night sacking.

By the way, when the content marketing balloon went up five years ago, I confess I was an enthusiast for the CPA story. It felt like an interesting way to do things.

The CPA went from CHE-made ads in 2011 featuring young CPAs talking about their career success…to newly arrived CEO Alex Malley announcing in 2012 that he would be appearing in a video series interviewing first man on the Moon Neil Armstrong.

In the years that followed there were two TV shows – which CPA effectively paid Nine to air – a book, a huge investment in building Malley’s social media presence and his own advice website.

No official number was ever shared on what the CPA spent on boosting Malley’s profile – for a time it felt like he was on every airport billboard. I doubt it was as high as the $35m being bandied around, but I’m sure it was in the millions.

When I was asked for examples of brands diving into content marketing the two I tended to cite were CPA and ANZ’s Blue Notes publishing platform.

At the height of the content marketing boom in 2014 we invited Malley to be a panellist at BEfest, our branded entertainment summit. We were told that he usually only did keynotes, and he eventually declined.

But our jury did give Malley’s book, The Naked CEO, a silver in the content strategy category of the 2015 BEfest Branded Entertainment Awwards.

So we bought it too.

But the evidence of success now looks thinner than it seemed at the time.

For starters, the growth in memberships over the last eight years appears to have been a relatively modest – 129,000 to 160,000 – roughly in keeping with population growth.

And more to the point, that feels like a result that could have been driven by any decent marketing strategy backed by a multimillion-dollar marketing spend.

It could have been a sustainable one that didn’t require making its CEO famous.

And in the end, the quest for fame made Malley a target. As I wrote a few weeks ago, much of the credit for tough questions about Malley’s chase for fame, which then uncovered a cabal-like board culture, belongs to the AFR’s Joe Aston.

And as revelations began to emerge about Malley’s big pay packet, his position at the helm of a membership body became untenable. Until the remaining board members (several of them resigned in recent weeks) finally sacked him.

Given the size of the social media following thanks to the CPA’s investment in his personal brand, it will be fascinating to see who gets custody of Malley’s social media accounts. With 126,000 followers on Twitter, and more than half a million on LinkedIn, that’s a valuable future platform.

Luckily, Malley has lots of advice for those he leaves behind. As he wrote in LinkedIn last year in an article about what happens when a boss leaves:

“While it can be an unsettling time when your boss moves on, remember that the new person coming in will bring with them a host of new and potentially valuable skills and experiences that you can tap into.”

See? It’s not all bad, is it?

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Re: Alex Malley - branding

Post by Magnet » Wed Oct 11, 2017 5:57 pm

Looks like something has happened with his twitter account as it no longer exists.

Either CPA has told him he can no longer use the naked ceo moniker or he has cancelled it himself?

Anyone know what has happened?

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Re: Alex Malley - branding

Post by theallseeingeye » Wed Oct 11, 2017 11:05 pm

Well, even Alex himself told me that CPA owns the IP and the copyright ....

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Re: Alex Malley - branding

Post by WTF » Wed Oct 18, 2017 4:10 pm

Well.. I must admit, when I saw "Alex Malley- Branding", I got a nice warm glow for a second. Then I remembered that, in civilised society, we aren't allowed to do that sort of thing anymore. ;)
góðan dag,


Those who can, do. Those who can't teach. Those who get kicked out of teaching, run Accounting Societies, OR... get paid $5m to get kicked out of running Accounting Societies!

Ken Crout
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Re: Alex Malley - branding

Post by Ken Crout » Thu Oct 19, 2017 12:25 am

Good evening WTF,

I must confess that I find your train of thought attractive . . . branding Alex Malley would probably gain approval from many disenfranchised CPAs. Unfortunate that such an activity has become unfashionable in polite society, but let me pause for a moment and enjoy a warm glow as I contemplate Alex being dragged into a medieval courtyard prior to being "branded" . . . aah . . .at least it would wipe that stupid smirk off the Naked Drongo's face for a few minutes . . . until he returned to counting his $4.9 mill payout, of course.

What a total farce . . . how did this profoundly untalented (and faintly ludicrous) character ever rise to the point where he became the public face (may the good Lord forgive us!) of CPA Australia?

Must admit though, that I enjoyed his interview with The Fonz . . . until I realised I was paying for it.

Anyhow, well done WTF!


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